Body size and extinction risk in Brazilian carnivores
Keywords:carnivores, independent contrasts, longevity, reproductive output, South America, vulnerability to extinction
AbstractBecause extinctions are not random across taxa, it is important for conservation biologists to identify the traits that make some species more vulnerable. Factors associated with vulnerability include small geographical ranges, low densities, high trophic level, "slow" life histories, body size, and tolerance to altered habitats. In this study we examined the relationship of body size, reproductive output, longevity, and extinction risk for carnivores occurring in Brazil. We used generalized linear models analyses on phylogenetically independent contrasts to test the effect of body size alone, and the combined effect of body size, litter size and longevity on extinction risk. Body size appeared in the two best models according to the selection criteria (AIC), and it was the most plausible bionomic variable associated with extinction risk. Litter size and longevity, bionomic traits previously associated with threat risk of Brazilian carnivores, were implausible. The higher extinction risk for larger species could result from body size influencing vulnerability to different human activities, such as killing, habitat destruction and fragmentation, and the small size of natural reserves.
How to Cite
Forero-Medina, G., Vieira, M. V., Grelle, C. E. de V., & Almeida, P. J. (2009). Body size and extinction risk in Brazilian carnivores. Biota Neotropica, 9(2). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/518